The origin of African pangolin scales is a trade secret not to be disclosed? CBCGDF applied for reconsideration
2020/5/18 12:59:00 本站

Recently, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) pangolin working group received a reply from the Hebei Forestry and Grassland Bureau (hereinafter referred to as Hebei Forestry) regarding the disclosure of government information. In the reply, the Hebei Forestry Department believed that the information applied by the CBCGDF was "commercial secret or personal privacy", so it was "not provided".


On September 29, from February to the end of August 2019, the Hebei Forestry Department divided the three batches of 1,650 kg of African pangolin scales that were administratively approved in three batches into using in traditional Chinese medicine. The CBCGDF requested that all relevant approval materials be disclosed. In this regard, Hebei Forestry stated in its response to the disclosure of the three pieces of information requested by the CBCGDF: "The identity information of the entrusted agent, the company’s annual report, the purchase, sale, and use contract are trade secrets or personal privacy. According to Article 15 of the Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information of the People's Republic of China, administrative agencies may not disclose government information that involves business secrets, personal privacy, etc., that would harm the legitimate rights and interests of third parties. And after consulting the third party, the third party did not agree to make it public, and the above materials were not provided. "


However, Hebei Forestry has not completely quoted the provisions of the law, ignoring the latter half of the provisions of Article 15 of the "Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information of the People's Republic of China, "However, if the administrative organ believes that non-disclosure may have a significant impact on public interests, it should be disclosed." Even information such as purchase contracts, because of violations of the prohibitive provisions of the law, may cause damage to wildlife under special protection and damage biodiversity. The destruction of the ecological environment is the damage to the public interest, of course cause significant impact. Between the interest of the enterprise and the public interest, the law tends to the public interest, and the administrative department cannot neglect to exercise the subjective initiative granted by the law, nor can it lean toward the enterprise out of context.


Article 28 of the "Law of the People's Republic of China on Drug Administration" stipulates that "drugs should meet the national drug standards ... If there are no national drug standards, they should meet the quality standards of approved drugs. The pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as "China pharmacopoeia") and drug standards are national drug standards ". On page 268 of the 2015 edition of China pharmacopoeia, it is recorded on page 268: "Pangolin (Chuan shan jia) (MANIS SQUAMA) this product is the scale of the pangolin Manis pentadactyla Linnaeus”.


CBCGDF has applied for three batches of approved pangolins to Hebei Forestry, of which two are Manis gigantea scales and one is Manis tricuspis scales, which are not in compliance with the scales Manis pentadactyla Linnaeus used in Pharmacopoeia. Therefore, in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of the "Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information of the People's Republic of China", CBCDFF specifically applies to the State Forestry and Grassland Administration for administrative reconsideration.



(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

Original Chinese article:

By / Maggie